Psalm 82

God's supremacy over all magistrates is declared. Unjust judges are reproved, and prayer is made that God would maintain justice.

1. "God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods."

Man raised to a seat of pre-eminence is prone to forget the hand which thus uplifts. His boastful heart regards the power as his own prerogative, and rules as if accountable to no one. But God's kingdom reigns over all. Earthly authority emanates from Him. In courts of judicature He is supreme. His eye discerns the movement of each heart. His hand is ready to control. The wicked Sanhedrin little thought of the presence of the Lord of all. The unrighteous Pilate felt not that he could have no power at all except what was given him from above.

2. "How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?"

God condescends to expostulate. He upbraids the folly of injustice. It is sin in His sight to regard the status of men rather than the cause of truth. Let us remember that a day is coming when a righteous tribunal shall be erected; when a righteous Judge shall sit, whose scepter is a righteous scepter—whose right hand is full of righteousness. On that day a crown of righteousness will be accorded to His faithful followers.

3-4. "Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked."

The principles are declared which should regulate the halls of justice. On the judgement bench, the poor should ever see the guardian of their rights. Those who have no interest from wealth and station should feel that they are safe in rulers who do not regard station and despise the bribe. Happy are the courts in which pure justice reigns, and happy the people who are thus ruled! The thought cannot be checked; happy are those who from their hearts can say to Jesus, 'We believe that You shall come to be our Judge. We well know that You will deliver us from oppression, and keep that which we have committed unto You.'

5. "They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are out of course."

Injustice springs from an unenlightened heart. If eyes were opened from above, it would be quickly seen that it is wisdom to love truth. But darkness too often spreads its blinding power. Confusion is the sure result! The very earth seems tottering. It rests on no stability. Again we feel that they dwell safely on a rock for whom God's right hand orders events righteously.

6-7. "I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes."

God again reminds that all authority is from Him. He calls magistrates to rule in His name. He confers titles which show that they must be honored as His deputed officers. But though thus raised, their origin is dust and ashes. They soon will crumble in their native earth. The great ones who preceded them had been stripped of all external show, and laid in the humble grave. They, also, must fall. Where then will be their supremacy? Wise only, are the earthly judges who hear God's judgment-trumpet sounding in their ears.

8. "Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations."

From this contemplation faith gladly turns to God. The cry goes forth that He would quickly take to Himself His great power and reign, and mold all hearts to be submissive to His will. May glorious prospects gladden our transported gaze, when we pray, Your kingdom come.